Intolerance

Children are remarkable for their intelligence and ardour, for their curiosity, their intolerance of shame, the clarity and ruthlessness of their vision.

How much happier would the religious history of the world been if the different religions and sects had seen their role as contributors to a common stream of seeking for the Ultimate, which always escapes the conceptual net, yet perennially inspires the search. Actually many in the modern world are becoming tolerant toward religion in the wrong way. Their tolerance is not a product of understanding but is bred of indifference. They see the conventional forms in which religion is practiced as empty shells although they excite in their defense belligerent intolerance.

Many prophets of the major religions were themselves remarkably open-minded. Jesus Christ surrounded himself with society's outcasts. Often it has been the followers of the prophets who, to consolidate power, honed the sharp sword of intolerance.

The historical record of religions on tolerance is drenched in the blood of intolerance.

Intolerance is a form of egoism, and to condemn egoism intolerantly is to share it.

Nothing dies so hard, or rallies so often as intolerance.

Nothing dies so hard, or rallies so often, as intolerance.

So natural to mankind is intolerance in whatever they really care bout, that religious freedom has hardly anywhere been practically realized, except where religious indifference, which dislikes to have its peace disturbed by theological quarrels, has added its weight to the scale.

Man's nature... is not corrupt. The idea of God is innate in man's mind from the beginning; so that by reason alone man has arrived, everywhere, at a recognition of God which is sufficient. Religious intolerance is blasphemy, since in their primal ground and ultimate sense, all religions are one, as is mankind.

Tolerance in the sense of moderation or superior knowledge or skepticism is actually the worst form of intolerance.

The only true spirit of tolerance consists in our conscientious toleration of each other's intolerance.

Religious discord has lost her sting; the cumbrous weapons of theological warfare are antiquated: the field of politics supplies the alchymists of our times with materials of more fatal explosion, and the butchers of mankind no longer travel to another world for instruments of cruelty and destruction. Our age is too enlightened to contend upon topics, which concern only the interests of eternity; and men who hold in proper contempt all controversies about trifles, except such as inflame their own passions, have made it a common-place censure against your ancestors, that their zeal was enkindled by subjects of trivial importance; and that however aggrieved by the intolerance of others, they were alike intolerant themselves.

The great writers to whom the world owes what religious liberty it possesses, have mostly asserted freedom of conscience as an indefeasible right, and denied absolutely that a human being is accountable to others for his religious belief. Yet so natural to mankind is intolerance in whatever they really care about, that religious freedom has hardly anywhere been practically realised, except where religious indifference, which dislikes to have its peace disturbed by theological quarrels, has added its weight to the scale.

The only wisdom I think I've attained is the wisdom to be skeptical of other people's ideology and other people's arguments. I tend to be a skeptic, I don't like dogmatic approaches by anybody. I don't like intolerance and a dogmatic person is intolerant of other people. It's one of the reasons I keep a distance from all religious beliefs. I think in this country and in Australia too there's a late intolerance in most religions, an intolerance, a part that could easily become persecutions.

It was under a solemn consciousness of the dangers from ecclesiastical ambition, the bigotry of spiritual pride, and the intolerance of sects... that is was deemed advisable to exclude from the national government all power to act upon the subject.

Obstinacy is a fault of temperament. Stubbornness and intolerance of contradiction result from a special kind of egotism, which elevates above everything else the pleasure of its autonomous intellect, to which others must bow.

Books and ideas are the most effective weapons against intolerance and ignorance.

I start…from a belief in individual freedom and that derives fundamentally from a belief in the limitations of our knowledge, from a belief…that nobody can be sure that what he believes is right, is really right.…I’m an imperfect human being who cannot be certain of anything, so what position…involved the least intolerance on my part?…The most attractive position…is putting individual freedom first.

Anger and intolerance are the enemies of correct understanding.

If we want to cultivate a true spirit of democracy we cannot afford to be intolerant. Intolerance betrays want of faith in one’s cause.